Friday, August 30, 2013

WI #7 and 'Half-Assed'

Again with the sideways photo!?! Oh well.

160.4 Down .4 from last week. At least it's in the right direction, but it's a little disappointing. I had been down in the 150's at the beginning of the week and then it went up enough to push me back into 160.  I WILL GET DOWN TO THE 150's! Dang it! ;) I just want to be considered a healthy weight one time in my life!

I'm going out of town this weekend. I have been doing pretty well with my eating for the past few weeks, but I've also been at home a lot. My weight always goes up when I go out of town. I was thinking about my willpower at my parent's home versus at my home, when I read these few pages in a book called Half-Assed by Jennette Fulda. (Really funny book about her weight loss by the way).

"Willpower was good for getting me to speed up my grocery cart as I passed the Oreos strategically placed next to the milk section....But using willpower as the energy source for a long-term weight-loss plan was like trying to power an aircraft carrier with a hamster running in a wheel."

Meaning that we can use willpower to get us through the small daily choices we have to make, but you can't base your whole weight-loss on willpower. You have to have a plan, goals, and make actual changes to your life to get what you want.

"I was making a lot of choices these days. I would always go for the slice of whole-wheat over the white bread. Sweet potatoes would beat normal potatoes in all my vegetable wrestling matches. I peeled the skin off the chicken even if that made my a poultry scalper."
"All those little choices in the day added up to something bigger. It was like stacking every brick to make a glorious cathedral or sitting at a loom every day, weaving thread in and out to make a glittering tapestry. Losing weight required a lot of constant thinking and decision making."
This is so true. Weight-loss really requires a bunch of small choices that add up to something bigger at the end of the day and your end goals. To choose water over soda. To choose to skip seconds. Etc. These steps do take willpower. But to know what you are going to order before you get to the restaurant. Bringing your own food to the party. Getting your exercise in. These are all steps that have nothing to do with willpower, but planning. And keeping your end goal, whether it's weight loss, to train for a race, to avoid gluten, whatever. It will take planning.
Even though I will probably eat out more than normal because I will be visiting family and friends this weekend, I can CHOOSE to eat healthy. To go to restaurants that offer healthy options. And to get a couple of runs in. 

So don't use the lack of willpower as an excuse to not lose weight. The lack of willpower probably means the lack of overall planning. Also just because you have a treat does not mean you failed. Accept it and move on. The next meal can always be healthier. Yup still working on the acceptance thing, but I do make sure that I get right back on track.

We can all do this! I'm already planning tonight when I meet friends at a bar before a movie. Water at the bar and I may be smuggling in my trail mix for the movie, haha.


Workouts this week went like this:

Sunday: Rest
Monday: 46 Mile Bike ride - 4hrs 30 mins.
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 2 Mile run and strength training, mostly arms with some squats and dip thingys
Thursday: 6 Mile run 1 hr 9 mins (slow, but I didn't look at my watch the whole time, it was nice).
Friday: Slept in, so I guess it'll be another rest day bc of traveling. Oops.
Saturday: I'm thinking 5 mile run.

Monday, August 26, 2013

46 Miles

In 2011, when I started to exercise on a regular basis I loved to go bike riding. You didn't have to be really physically fit to go bike riding on a flat surface for a little while. And for a person that never gets in a hurry to go anywhere, it made me feel like I was going so fast.
July 2011

When I began, going 3 miles out and 3 miles back was a pretty big deal. It took a lot of effort and I loved it. As I started getting fitter and riding more, I came up with a goal to ride from Fairmont to the next town of Morgantown. It is around 20 miles, one way, and you can take the flat rail trail (used to be for train tracks) which consists mostly of packed limestone.

Last summer I went up to Morgantown, but didn't come back because I was meeting my beau for lunch who then brought me back home. That is the furthest I had ever ridden. Until now.

I had trouble sleeping last night, yet still woke up relatively early (8am is early for me on a day off). The weather was showing a sunny day with a high of 82 degrees. For some unknown reason, I decided today was the day I was going to mark off the goal of riding the 20 miles to Morgantown and then ride back. As an incentive, I wanted to get lunch at a cafe that I've been wanting to try. So I ate some breakfast, got dressed, got my bike tires pumped, and got my things together. Which by the way, it takes much more stuff to prep for bike riding than running! I had to get my fanny pack together full of chews, a honey waffle and my phone. Then there was my watch, two water bottles one with gatorade and one with ice/water, headphones, some money and my I.D. I used the 'fanny pack' as my boyfriend calls it, for my half two weekends ago and it works out really well! Didn't move at all and now I can take my phone with me a lot easier. Anyway...

Everything started off well. I was on the trail by 10am. The sun was shining, the trees where beautiful. I saw a peacock. Wait! What? Yup. At mile 5 I saw a bird walking across the trail, which I assumed was a turkey buzzard. As I got closer I realized it was a female peacock. Not only that, but there were baby peacocks!!! I tried to get my phone out quick but they were booking it, so you can't really see anything.
Yeah that funny shape in the middle is the peacock. Not that you can tell, haha. The babies were so cute though! Like little baby ducks, except they were white. This is not the first time I've heard of people seeing peacocks around, but it's definitely the first time I've seen one in West Virginia!

Anyway, after that it was back to listening to the Half Size Me podcasts and looking at the Monongahela River (I promise that's a real word). Around mile 13 or so, I started feeling a little tired and hungry! I could tell that I haven't been biking as much as I did last year, since I've been concentrating on the running. My outer thighs were starting to burn. All I could think about was getting to that cafe. And that cafe added an extra 3 miles to my trip each way too. But it tasted good and I will definitely go back! They serve a lot of local, organic food, which I like.

It took me 2 hours and 9 minutes to complete 23 miles. I know this seems incredibly slow and it is. BUT, I ride without clips on my shoes, so I don't get the extra speed from the double motion of pushing and pulling. I'll eventually look into getting clips or straps or something for my pedals, but that seems over my head right now. Yes, even though it is probably easy to get used to in reality.

After lunch all I could think about is how in the hell world am I going to make it back?? I was already so sore! And not only my legs were suffering, but so was my bum! I have a seat cover, but it sure didn't feel like it on the way back! I'm surprised I don't have some sort of saddle sore, it felt like I should have.

After taking more stops on the way back to take pictures and to give my bum a rest. I got back to my starting point in 2 hours and 20 minutes. That's a total of 4 hours and 29 minutes for a total of 46 Miles!!! Holy moly that is a long long time.According to my motoactv, I only burned around a 1,000 calories. According to I burned 1,876 calories! So of course, I think it's the latter! haha. I have no idea which one is more correct, since I don't have a heart rate monitor or something like that, but either way I still burned a lot of calories!

I'm very proud of the goal that I completed!! I wasn't really sure I could, but like I've said before, the good thing about out and backs, you really don't have a choice to finish. You HAVE to finish or you spend the night out in the woods with only God knows what!

Now I'm going to continue to ice and lay on the couch. I can only imagine how sore I am going to be tomorrow!  Oh I also now have a sweet farmer's tan/burn. I know you're jealous.

Friday, August 23, 2013

WI #6 and New Race

Woot! 160.8. Down 1.2 pounds from last week! Sounds good to me!

It's been a good week. I chose healthy choices at a Chinese buffet that actually had a fresh grill. So I loaded my plate with fresh veggies and chicken, added a little garlic sauce and a guy grilled it all right in front of me. It was delicious!

I've also been enjoying my go to salad.

Strawberries, blueberries, avocado, spinach, and light raspberry vinaigrette. Yum!
I also made a big pot of cabbage roll soup type of mixture. It's not very pretty, so no pictures.
I made it with cabbage (duh), ground lean turkey, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. It's so filling and pretty good too!

Workouts have been okay:

Monday I did a short recovery run of 15 minutes then walked for 10 or so.
Tuesday I went for a 1 hour and 35 min. bike ride. It was nice, but it wore me out!
Wednesday, I didn't feel like running. So I did some strength exercises at home. I tried to do a plank for just a minute, but only got to 43 seconds before I started shaking so badly I had to stop. I went for another one to finish out the minute. Definitely will work on that! I used a little weight and did some lunges, plus sit ups and squats. Turned out pretty well I think.
Thursday I did a hill workout. I never do hill workouts. And this one HURT! Oh my, it left me out of breath and my legs shaking. I went for about 20-25 minutes and then walked around the neighborhood to get my legs to act normal, haha.

Things I learned this week I need to work on: hills and planks. Looks like I need to work on getting stronger!

Today will be a rest day since I have to work until 9pm, but tomorrow will involve a run at some point in the evening.

I didn't do my full on usual workouts this week, but I'm very proud of myself for doing something everyday. A lot of times I feel like just laying on the couch all evening and being a slug. If I get up and tell myself that I'll do something for just a little while, it helps motivate me. Sometimes I go longer than I think, but sometimes not, and that's okay. Movement is movement. It's really good for overall health if I just get in a little something!

I really do feel better mentally and physically. Even the little workouts help keep the blues away and I usually sleep better (except when we have major thunder storms like last night!). So this is my suggestion world, get up and do something that doesn't sound like torture to you and do it for just 15 or 20 minutes. It'll pay off in the end and could lead to some great workouts!

Also, I decided to sign up for the Wells Fargo Mountaineer Triathlon/Duathlon. The race is September 22nd. I decided to sign up for my first Duathlon. Mainly because I don't like swimming that much and it's only a month away. Since it's my first duathlon, I chose the sprint distance instead of the Olympic. I realized that I have plenty of years left to do the Olympic and there is no need to push myself too quickly. The sprint consists of 5K run (3.1 miles), 20K bike ride (12.4 miles) and another 5k run. I'm pretty sure I can do it, but it'll still be a challenging race. I've never run that long with biking added in! Thankfully the course is pretty flat so the biking hopefully won't be so bad.

I need to get my bike checked out. It was making a couple of funny noises. It might just need bike grease on the chain though. 

I'm really looking forward to this race. I love incorporating running and biking into the challenge! I better start training!! Have a good weekend all!

P.S. Did I mention in my last week's race that I didn't walk hardly at all? I don't remember if I did and I'm too lazy to check, but I keep thinking about how I'm so proud of that. There was only a couple of water stations I walked through and one time to get a Cliff Chew out of my pack because it wouldn't come out. That is all.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Biggest Loser Half Marathon Recap

I achieved a new PR (personal record)!! I finished the Biggest Loser Half Marathon in Erie, PA in 2 hrs., 15 minutes and 51 seconds. That's ten minutes faster than my first half marathon! I went from an 11:10 pace in my first one to a 10:22 pace! And that's with a bathroom break during the race!

Erie Half Marathon course map

This is the race course. It is completely on Presque Isle. It was a gorgeous and very flat course. The race began at 7am, so my beau and I got up at the crack ass of dawn to get ready. We drove to Erie the day before, about a three hour drive from where we live. After getting ready that morning, we had to get some breakfast. We went to McDonald's and I got an Egg White McMuffin and a water. I have these type of sandwiches at home so I figured it would be fine. We ate on the way to the island because on a normal day it can take twenty minutes to get from the entrance to the point of the island where the race would begin. We had marked out where we needed to go the night before and they were not kidding about how long it takes to get out there!  So we wanted to leave plenty of time for traffic. And I'm really glad we did. I had plenty of time to use the port-o-potties (not that it helped much) and we got a good parking spot. There were plenty of people rolling in, this was around 5:30am. Crazy runners.

Is it just me or do I look completely freaked out?

The start/finish line.
On good thing about getting up so early, we got to watch the sun rise over the water.
 The race seemed well organized with plenty of bathrooms at the start/finish line as well as on the course (since there are already bathrooms on the island, they were easily accessible during the race), some vendors, even a concession stand that was open and selling coffee at 5:30 in the morning! They separated the half marathoners and the 5K runners with the half lining up and starting first. I'm not sure what happened, but the race did start a little late and with a crowded chute, I was getting ansy.
 I decided I would line up with the 10:00 minute mile pacers. That was my A goal. I didn't think I could do it the whole way, but I thought it might motivate me to keep a more evened pace. And the pacer had a pirate flag. It was meant to be.

Finally, we started moving. About .2 miles in, I realized I had forgotten to start my watch. Doh! Then I realized I must have hit something while I was waiting because it was no longer on run. Extra doh! I got it working though, which was not easy as I was running.

I stayed with the 10:00 pacer really well, even during the water stations, where I still have to walk. I walked quickly just enough to gulp a drink down and then started running again which kept me right with them. I did that until mile 7 or so. That is when my stomach decided it hated me. I could feel it rumbling before, but I thought I might be able to ignore it. Well it would not be ignored. I saw a bathroom at mile 6 but again thought I could hold out. Like I said above, it was not happening. I started slowing up just a little bit at around that 7 mile marker. I could still see the pirate flag just barely ahead of me. I didn't think I was going to make it though. I'm not sure if it was the fried fish sandwich I had the night before or the extra Power Bar fruit gummies I ate during the run, but my stomach was roaring. There were no other bathrooms and I was heavily considering either going behind a very skinny tree or getting a lift with one of the cars passing us in the open lane. At mile 9 though there was a ranger's station that had a bathroom. Thank heaven! I made it and all was well.

I totally lost sight of the pirate flag after that of course. And I started to get really hungry. I'm not sure if it was because we started a little late or because I had eaten so early. Maybe a combination of both. So I had more fruit chews, way more than I usually eat. I only had one of the Clif Shot Blocks. I usually have two of those during a run like this, but they can upset my stomach and I didn't want to take the chance of making things worse. So I stuck with water, a little bit of gatorade that was offered on the course, and my chews.

They had water stations every mile and water/gatorade every other mile! That's fantastic. They didn't really need it this year since it was a lovely cool day, but it was nice to have that option. My strategy going in was to have water every two miles and gatorade if I needed a little extra boost. The few miles before I found a bathroom, I didn't have anything. I didn't want to put anything more into my stomach!

After the bathroom incident, I felt pretty good. My pace did slow down a little, but I kept it right around 10:00. And really the scenery was beautiful. A mix between beautiful trees, marsh lands, and bright Lake Erie. And with that I finished in 2:15!
Not sure if you can really tell, but I'm running towards the finish line.

Trying to not let that girl pass me! The time shows the gun time, 2:16.42. Chip time 2:15.51

 Overall it was a nice race. I might have hit closer to my 10:00 mark if it hadn't been for the pit stop. I'm really proud of my race though. Except for my left knee (not the one I messed up) hurting the last mile or so, my legs did well. I'll make sure to tape both of them next time!
The swag.

Erie half marathon medal

After the race my beau and I decided it would be a great idea to swim in Lake Erie. So I decided to just go in with my clothes on. It was freeeaking cold! It's the middle of August and that water was ice cold! We didn't last long, haha.
It was sunnier than this might seem. Great for running!
 Also, I wasn't feeling well. Unfortunately, my stomach was majorly upset all day. Thank goodness our hotel room was nice and our king sized bed was comfy. I spent a lot of time in that room and not for any good reasons! My beau was very nice about it though and stayed with me even when I told him he should go out and find something fun to do. After lots of Pepto and a nap, we did take a little time out to do a first for me. We went to a casino!
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
I didn't win the big bucks. Better not quit my day job.

Today we decided to hit up a zoo. We had a really good time and it was nice to walk out my slightly sore legs. Even though we didn't do as much as I had thought we would, since I was dying on Saturday (dramatic much?), it was so nice to get away. And I leave you with a cute picture:

I thought this Red Panda was adorable!

P.S. I didn't stay on track with my eating. At all. But when you don't feel well you eat what sounds good. Doing better today and back on track completely tomorrow!

Friday, August 16, 2013

WI #5

I'm not sure why Blogger keeps turning this sideways...

Bummer up .4 pounds this week. Even though I chose healthy foods this week, including not eating any chips or tortillas at a Mexican restaurant! I was still very snacky this week and I think I went overboard a few times. C'est la vie. Perhaps next week I'll be a little more strict.

Right now I've got more important things to think about, like running 13.1 miles tomorrow! Eeeep.
I'm nervous, excited, and nervous some more. I don't feel prepared and I just keep hoping that my legs hold up (mainly my ankle and knee).

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

I still have to go pack and take a shower so this is short and sweet. Have a good weekend all!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Another lesson learned yesterday.

I know that I am a slow runner and I am okay with this. The fact that I run at all is brilliant for me. Yesterday though, I had trouble of keeping the feeling of failure at bay. I joined up with the group run that happens every Monday after I had already run a few miles so that I could get in my last longish run before the Erie Half Marathon. There were four people that were running about the pace that I needed to go. A little fast for me, but they were keeping it easy so I figured I could stay with them. WRONG. I felt like such a loser when I had to take a minute to walk, because I couldn't run at their pace anymore. They were averaging around a 9:30-10:00 min. mile. It was a simple jog for these people who were obviously much fitter than I. I became so discouraged that after all the time I spend running and cycling, that I still have so far to go. It also doesn't help that I haven't been training as hard lately so that I don't re-injure myself before my race.

But then I have to remember, a couple of years ago, I would never have stepped foot in the running shop or gone anywhere near a running group. Sometimes you have to cut yourself some slack! Yes I still walk on some of my runs and that's okay for me. I'm not a super skinny athlete that has been training for years and years. I will get better, I already have. And I will not be the only one taking a walk break during the Half. I can guarantee that! (Though my goal is to only take walk breaks at the water stops.)

I may never be like the speedy people at the running group. That is not the point of my journey. My direction is to try new things, work at them, explore, and create experiences. I get the opportunity to run along an island this weekend! That is something special and that is what I need to remember when those discouraging feelings come up. I may not be quick or look good doing it, but I will finish and I will enjoy the journey.

I feel better already.

On a side note: Looks like great weather for this weekend. A little cloudy, but no rain and a high of 80 degrees. Since the race begins at 7am, it should be nice and cool! I'm getting very excited and a little nervous. I always get nervous though. You just never know what will happen on race day! I'll try to get lots of pictures though!

Have a good week!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Weigh-in #4

Lost one pound this week! Yay!

Looks like my 8 Week Challenge is paying off! ...That is until today. :/

This happened for dinner:

This was first...I ate three before this. Then I ate these.

Korean Kimchi in a Hot Pot with a side of steamed rice.
So many carbs! But it tasted really good. Not even going to lie. Do I feel guilty? Yes. Should I? Probably not. But I've never had a really healthy relationship with food. I usually feel guilty after eating something that I consider 'bad' in my head. I ate quite a bit, but to tell the truth, I wasn't completely full. And no, I did not eat all the Kimchi and went light on the rice. On the other hand, I did pass up dessert! Proud of myself for that! Tomorrow is another day and I'm trying my best to just let it go and enjoy the good evening that I had out. (p.s. I'm not sure, but is this actual kimchi? I feel like it should be different. It's not what I remember kimchi being?)

I may never be able to think of food like a sane person. To be truly healthy is not to think of food as good or bad, but as everyday, occasionally, and seldom. These are more healthy standards I think. Perhaps one day I'll be able to eat something filled with sugar and not immediately feel regret or feel that I need to workout soon afterwards. It's just not right. Truly the mental aspect of food, losing weight, and living a healthy balance is hard. I can only hope that I can teach any future kids that I may have that any food is not good or bad, but perhaps not something we should eat every day of the week. The truly sad thing is, that in the past, I would have thought this meal completely healthy. Compared to what I used to eat, it was! And that is a point for good.

Anyway. Tomorrow is another day. Still trucking on with the 8 week challenge of not eating complete crap (not that my dinner was crap, on the contrary it was very yummy, just a tad bit too much rice for right now).
Wanna see something scary?

This is me after my 11 mile 6 mile run last weekend. You can't really tell, but my shirt is completely soaked. Yes, I wore a white shirt when it was cloudy outside. Doh! Thankfully, everyone else was smarter than I and stayed inside. 3 miles out and buckets started coming down. I decided to turn around instead of trying to complete the whole 11 miles. Rain was stinging my eyes and my socks got all wet. Not the most fun of runs, for sure.

On a good note, I ran yesterday for an hour with minimum ankle pain. It was stiff this morning, so I took another rest day and hope to get a small run in on Sunday and take my last longish run on Monday before my race on Saturday. I'm thinking 7 or 8 miles for Monday. Then taper time!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So Frustrating!


I finally got rid of my knee pain (yay!), but now I'm having major ankle pain! UGH!

I've taken two rest day this week already, Sunday and Tuesday, with a bike ride on Monday. I just tried running on my treadmill and it still freaking hurt. I even taped it up this time. So I just walked for a little while and now I'm icing. I guess I'll take two days off and work on stretching with more icing? I don't even know.

I just wanted to vent. My Erie Half Marathon is growing closer and I just want to enjoy the experience, pain free.

On a positive note, eating is going pretty well. No sweets (minus a granola bar I had today that had some chocolate on it, not sure if that counts though) and no junk food.

Friday, August 2, 2013

WI #3 and 8 Week Challenge

First things first:
My pedicure turned my big toe nail white?!?

Up 0.2 pounds this week. Not a huge difference, but not a loss either. I'm just struggling so hard to get my act together. I just want to snack all evening long!

I've never been very good at sticking with challenges, but I'm determined to turn my eating around. So I've joined an 8 Week Challenge from Swim Bike Mom.

This will go through the end of September. Mainly my goals are to get my 5-6 workouts in, to cut out extra sugar and junk food (no pizza for 8 weeks!), and to try to up my veggie intake.
One exception is the fuel that I use while I'm running. The chews, Cliff Shot Blocks, contain a lot of sugar, but I use another one that is mostly fruit. A mixture of both of them seem to work best and it's too close to my race to change it now. Just 15 more days until Half Marathon #2 in Erie, PA!

I honestly don't think this will be very hard, if I just keep myself busy during the evenings. I get tempted by food that is in my house for my dad and if I'm just sitting around, it will call to me all night. Most of the time I resist, but I did eat a piece of cake and some M&M's this week. Many of the people in the challenge are doing a Paleo based challenge, but I like my yogurt. So mine will focus on limiting my carbs (from refined sources such as bread) and no sweets or things considered junk food (i.e. chips, fries, pizza, chocolate, etc.). I do have some mini Hershey bar things. If I keep to the challenge I'll allow myself one of those a week. I think this will help keep me from going insane. But for the first couple of weeks I won't even have those so that I can kind of detox my system.

I'll make sure to update every week when I update my weight. Ready to get this done!!

I had a great speed session last night at the gym. My first speed session in a while. Tonight is a rest night, mainly since I have to work. But I like to rest the day before my long run. 11 miles tomorrow. My 10 miler went well last week, if a little slowly, so I have high hopes for tomorrow's. As long as I can get out there before the rain hits. The KT Tape has been working wonders for my knee. I've got some wrapped around my ankle right now, because it's been feeling tight.

I'll try to remember to get a good picture of my leg wrapped up for next week. Please join the 8 Week Challenge if you're struggling too! Just use the link above. Have a good weekend all!